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Latest Neurobiology Stories

2012-01-14 01:37:42

The blood-brain barrier is essential for maintaining the brain's stable environment–preventing entry of harmful viruses and bacteria and isolating the brain's specific hormonal and neurotransmitter activity from that in the rest of the body. In addition to nerve cells, the brain contains glia cells that support and protect the neurons. In the fruit fly, the blood-brain boundary is made by glia joined into an envelope sealed around the nerve cells. As the brain rapidly expands during...

2012-01-12 21:10:20

For years, researchers seeking new therapies for traumatic brain injury have been tantalized by the results of animal experiments with stem cells. In numerous studies, stem cell implantation has substantially improved brain function in experimental animals with brain trauma. But just how these improvements occur has remained a mystery. Now, an important part of this puzzle has been pieced together by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. In experiments with...

2012-01-04 08:56:59

Quite early in its development, the mammalian brain has all the raw materials on hand to forge complex neural networks. But forming the connections that make these intricate networks so exquisitely functional is a process that occurs one synapse at a time. An important question for neuroscience has been: how exactly do stable synapses form? How do nerve cells of particular types know which of their cortical neighbors to "synapse" with, and which to leave out of their emerging networks?...

2011-12-14 10:18:39

An inhibitory drug reverses seizure damage to neurologic pathways in rats About half of newborns who have seizures go on to have long-term intellectual and memory deficits and cognitive disorders such as autism, but why this occurs has been unknown. In the December 14 Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston detail how early-life seizures disrupt normal brain development, and show in a rat model that it might be possible to reverse this pathology by giving certain...

2011-11-28 10:38:16

Carefully selected young, healthy neurons can functionally integrate into diseased brain circuitry Neuron transplants have repaired brain circuitry and substantially normalized function in mice with a brain disorder, an advance indicating that key areas of the mammalian brain are more reparable than was widely believed. Collaborators from Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) transplanted...

Researchers Turn Embryonic Stem Cells Into Functioning Neurons
2011-11-22 06:26:29

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin have successfully had implanted neurons, created in laboratory conditions, connect with the brains of mice and both send and receive signals. In research published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), lead author Jason P. Weick and associates Yan Liu and Su-Chun Zhang describe how they were able to take blank slate human embryonic stem cells (hESC), turn them into neurons, implant them into the brains of...

2011-11-17 03:38:45

Like a gardener who stakes some plants and weeds out others, the brain is constantly building networks of synapses, while pruning out redundant or unneeded synapses. Researchers at The Jackson Laboratory led by Assistant Professor Zhong-wei Zhang, Ph.D., have discovered a factor in synapse-building, also showing that the building and pruning processes occur independent of each other. Mammals are born with functioning but not-yet-developed brains. After birth, external stimuli and internal...


Latest Neurobiology Reference Libraries

Brain
2013-03-05 13:54:00

Formation and Orientation The development of the brain is broken down into stages. The basic evolution begins in the third week of the embryonic process where the neural plate is formed. By week four, the neural plate has developed into the neural tube. The anterior part of the tube, the telencephalon, grows rapidly as it prepares to later give way to the brain. As time goes on, cells begin to classify themselves as either neurons or glial cells, thus determining their functions. Glial...

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Word of the Day
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.